NEWS Round-Up April 5-April 11

ASEAN, coronavirus, lockdown, news, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand

coronavirus editorial team wants to wish to all of our readers in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand a Happy New Year and Water Festival despite the cancellation of all festivities in these four countries. Better times are to come again soon…


  • One of the biggest budget hotel booking and management platforms, RedDoorz, will implement a zero-revenue scheme until next year because of low demand for hotel accommodation as COVID-19 spreads around the world as reported by the Jakarta Post. RedDoorz CEO Amit Saberwal said the company had been working on the scheme from mid-March until at least the next 15 months. “Profitability is not on the horizon. I think now it’s more about survival, and we will go back to the path of profitability when things start to get normal,” he said during a webinar on start-up survival hosted by Tech in Asia on Wednesday. The company was planning to shift from a growth paradigm to profitability this year. RedDoorz has now changed its goal to enabling recovery in its core market when the time comes. The company had begun to feel the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, when Indonesia, one of its biggest markets, began reporting more cases of infection. “The easiest thing to do is to cut down on marketing. We basically have no marketing, because, unfortunately, there is no     demand,” he said, adding that, before the pandemic, RedDoorz had planned for a Ramadan marketing campaign in Indonesia to ramp up growth. However, China’s improving condition and growing demand in South Korea’s domestic market were signs of recovery at least in some parts of the world.

(Source: The Jakarta Post)


  • The Cambodian government ordered a lockdown of all district and provincial borders inside Cambodia. The order started on Thursday at midnight and is due to last until April 16. However, the lockdown has been amended on Friday. People can now travel from one district to another within a same province. For Phnom Penh, there is no restriction for the entire city and the neighbouring province of Kandal. The lockdown does not however apply to goods transportation by land, waterways and air, state vehicles and other means of transport used by officials on duty from all state institutions at national and sub-national levels.


  • The administration of Batam, an Indonesian island next to Singapore has expressed its intention to implement large-scale social restrictions similar to those in force in Jakarta to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission. Batam is however looking to keep the measures in place for three months. Batam mayor submitted its proposal to Riau Islands acting governor Isdianto who must then get approval from the health minister. “There’s only one way to stop the disease from spreading: by suspending all activities in the city. It’s our job to assure that the basic needs of every resident are fulfilled,” the mayor explained to the Jakarta Post. Batam already banned all arrivals from Singapore on March 17.


  • Indonesian airports state operator Angkasa Pura II which manages among other Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport but also international airports in Bandung, Medan, Palembang or Padang among other, has installed automatic disinfection chambers in its 19 airports across the country, including in Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan. The disinfection chambers have been placed at several points in each airport, including baggage claims and entranceways. In arrival halls, the devices have been installed on conveyor belts to remove viruses and bacteria from checked luggage.


  • Malaysia Airlines released its schedule for the period of 12APR20 – 17MAY20 (Kuala Lumpur departure) for its international services. Kuala Lumpur – Auckland 1 weekly A330-200 (cancelled from 01MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Bangkok on April 18
    Kuala Lumpur – Guangzhou 1 weekly A330 (service cancelled 01MAY20 – 17MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Ho Chi Minh City 2 weekly A330-300 (cancelled from 01MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong A330-300 operates on following dates in April: 14, 16, 27
    Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta 1 weekly 737-800
    Kuala Lumpur – London Heathrow 1 weekly A350-900XWB (cancelled from 01MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Melbourne A330-300 operates on following dates in April: 15, 16, 17, 24
    Kuala Lumpur – Osaka Kansai A330-200/-300 operates on following dates in April: 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29 and 01MAY20 (cancelled from 02MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Perth A330-200/-300 operates on following dates in April: 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29 and 01MAY20 (cancelled from 02MAY20)
    Kuala Lumpur – Singapore  A330-300 operates on following dates in April: 15, 17, 18, 24, 25
    Kuala Lumpur – Tokyo Narita 5 weekly A330-300 (cancelled from 04MAY20)


  • Malaysia extended its lockdown to April 28 as the country continues to see daily triple-digit increases in new coronavirus cases. “The extension is to give space to the healthcare workers to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, to prevent it from spreading further among the community,” Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised speech. However, some sectors will be allowed to open including spectacles’ shops, barber shops and automotive workshops.


  • The Department of Tourism has released virtual backgrounds that can be used while using video conferencing platforms in a bid to encourage the public to “travel from home.” The photos feature several famed Philippine tourist destinations and they can be downloaded from for free. It can be used on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Webex. Landscapes’ backgrounds are classified by morning, afternoon and evening and show tourist spots at different times of the day.


  • Accor is offering a day-use room package across 10 hotels in Bangkok to guests who need a private office space for the day. Bangkokians who are desperately looking for a spacious hideaway to get their job done or who need a quiet place to focus on an important project can now book a room for up to 8 hours between 8:00am-8:00pm in 10 hotels. The offer includes a quiet room with a business desk for working, complete with high-speed internet and a lunch box. Now available, this package is valid for one person per room with rates starting from THB 690 at selected ibis Styles hotels. For a more premium experience, opt for the THB 890 package at selected Novotel hotels or the THB 1,190 package at selected MGallery, Pullman and Grand Mercure hotels. Participating hotels are located all over Bangkok to enable local residents to select a private office location that is close to their homes.


  • Thailand is imposing a ban on alcool selling for 10 days in Bangkok. The ban started on Friday and will then last until April 20 in the latest bid to prevent social gatherings that could spread the highly-contagious coronavirus. Ten other provinces have already imposed curbs on alcohol sales, such as Sakon Nakhon (from March 31-April 16), Chiang Mai (April 10-20), Rayong (April 3-15), Buri Ram (April 2-30), and Mukdahan (April 6-30).